Richmond Public Schools Strategic Plan

Richmond Public Schools began an ambitious project to develop an actionable, long-range strategic plan that aligns financial resources with specific goals, objectives, and action plans. Beginning in the fall of 2010, we held a series of summits to gather input from community members and business leaders. Our superintendent, Dr. Yvonne Brandon, invited a team comprised of a broad cross-section of our community to join together for a three-day strategic planning session to create a draft plan for the school system.

Following the development of the draft plan, business leaders, community members, partners, parents, staff, and students volunteered to serve on one of six Action Teams (one team for each strategy in the plan). These teams met from January through April 2011 and developed action plans to accomplish the mission, objectives, and strategies of the Strategic Plan.

Overall, more than 500 committed, passionate individuals contributed to this effort. They devoted more than 3,000 hours of their time in meeting, researching, deliberating, and coming to agreement on the action plans. On June 6, 2011, the School Board of the City of Richmond adopted the Strategic Plan as presented here.

Beliefs

An expression of fundamental values, ethical code, overriding convictions, inviolable principles

We believe that . . .

  1. Relationships built on honesty and mutual respect create responsible and effective communities.
  2. Diversity is our strength; unity is our power.
  3. Equity is a prerequisite for community vitality.
  4. Everyone has worth and value and is integral to society.
  5. Mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health are essential for optimal learning.
  6. High expectations are required to achieve goals, hopes, and dreams.
  7. High quality education produces responsible citizens and vibrant communities.
  8. Teaching and learning are essential to the human experience of growth and change.
  9. Embracing change opens doors of possibilities.
  10. Education is a shared responsibility of the entire community.

Mission

Highest aspiration and purpose of the school system; a declaration of the unique identity to which the school district aspires, its specific purpose, and the means by which it will achieve its purpose

The mission of Richmond Public Schools, the gateway to infinite possibilities, is to lead our students to extraordinary, honorable lives as inspirational global leaders who shape the future with intellect, integrity, and compassion through challenging, engaging learning experiences guided by highly qualified, passionate educators in partnership with families and communities.

Objectives

An uncompromising commitment to achieve specific, measurable, observable or demonstrable results that exceed present capability and lead to accomplishing the mission

  1. Each student will graduate ready for college and career as a thoughtful reader, an effective writer, a critical thinker, and a creative problem solver.
  2. Each student will achieve personal excellence by discovering and developing extraordinary potential based on unique interests and talents.
  3. Each student will be a socially responsible citizen who leads the building of a sustainable global community.
  4. Each student will have the undeniable audacity to fulfill dreams with integrity, passion, and confidence to positively impact the world.

Parameters

Boundaries within which the school system will accomplish its mission; self-imposed limitations

  1. We will base decisions on what is best for students.
  2. We will honor relationships and treat all people with dignity and respect.
  3. We will ensure a culture of integrity.
  4. We will be responsible stewards of our resources.
  5. We will practice and promote open, honest communication.
  6. We will not compromise excellence.

Strategies

Bold resolutions that dedicate the school district's resources and energies toward the continuous creation of systems to achieve the extraordinary as expressed in the mission and objectives

We will . . .

  1. Develop and implement engaging, innovative, and rigorous curriculum that will optimize learning.
  2. Adopt a systemwide approach to inspire and empower students beyond traditional academics.
  3. Recruit and retain the highest quality faculty, staff, and administrators and maximize their effectiveness.
  4. Design, develop, and implement new buildings and technology infrastructure that are adaptable to new curriculum and instruction and evolving needs of individuals and communities.
  5. Engage all facets of the community as partners in accomplishing our mission and objectives.
  6. Align people and resources strategically to maximize impact.

Action Plans

Specific results that translate the concepts contained in the mission, objectives and strategies into reality

  1. We will develop and implement engaging, innovative, and rigorous curriculum that will optimize learning.
    Action Plan 1.1.
    An integrated curriculum incorporating real-world and 21st century skills will be created and implemented to increase student achievement at all levels.
    Cross-reference to Action Plans 6.3 and 6.6
    Action Plan 1.2.
    Integrated developmentally appropriate, hands-on math activities will be incorporated into the curriculum that will guarantee mastery of both basic and advanced skills at all grade levels.
    Cross-reference to Action Plan 6.3
    Action Plan 1.3.
    Integrated developmentally appropriate, hands-on science activities will be incorporated into the curriculum that include real life and virtual laboratories that will guarantee mastery of both basic and advanced skills at each grade level.
    Cross-reference to Action Plan 2.1
    Action Plan 1.4.
    Skill-based assessment and intervention system at each grade level will be developed, beginning with literacy and numeracy.
    Action Plan 1.5.
    A common extended learning program which extends the instructional calendar across 12 months will be developed.
    Cross-reference to Action Plan 5.1
    Action Plan 1.6.
    A continuum of extended school day options for students will be implemented that will provide opportunities for intervention and enrichment.
    Cross-reference to Action Plan 5.1
    Action Plan 1.7.
    A comprehensive assessment and reform of every aspect of our middle school program to better address and leverage the unique cognitive, psychological, physical, and social needs of our students in grades 6-8 (approximate grade range).
    Cross-reference to Action Plan 2.4
    Action Plan 1.8.
    Develop and implement an online communication system that would advise parents, students, and community stakeholders of different expectations and options to students that will enhance and expand their educational opportunities.
    Cross-reference to Action Plans 2.5, 4.2, and 5.5
    Action Plan 1.9.
    School-community partnerships will be expanded and aligned to build lasting relationships between parents and other adults, committed volunteers, and the education community to increase student academic success.
    Cross-reference to Action Plans 2.5, 5.5, 6.4, and 6.5
    Action Plan 1.10.
    Redistricting of all attendance zones will occur in order to ensure equity of access to rigorous programs/courses of study.
    Cross-reference to Action Plan 6.2
    Action Plan 1.11.
    A pre-K to 12 district-wide teacher development program, based on the National Staff Development Council standards will be developed to improve teachers' ability to infuse rigor and relevancy into classroom instruction and create meaningful relationships with students, leading to increased achievement.
    Cross-reference to Action Plans 6.3 and 3.6

  2. Adopt a system-wide approach to inspire and empower students beyond traditional academics.
    Action Plan 2.1.
    Create essential real-world experiences by grade level that will complement the Standards of Learning.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plan 1.3
    Action Plan 2.2.
    Increase by a minimum of 5% each year the overall participation of high school and middle school students in sports.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plan 1.7
    Action Plan 2.3.
    Provide additional and relevant support to increase student performance for identified AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) subgroups.
    Action Plan 2.4.
    Establish a structured, transition support for students from elementary to middle school, middle to high school, and high school to post-secondary experiences.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plan 1.7
    Action Plan 2.5.
    Create Community Learning Centers that will offer and coordinate a variety of support services and programs for children and families.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plans 1.8, 1.9, 5.5, 5.6, 6.4 and 6.5
    Action Plan 2.6.
    Create a system-wide program to increase a sense of belonging, a feeling of value and contribution, and a positive school culture in each school.

  3. Recruit and retain the highest quality faculty, staff and administrators and maximize their effectiveness.
    Action Plan 3.1.
    Change the approach from traditional human resource management to strategic human capital investment.
    Action Plan 3.2.
    Employ best practices that connect resources to build a fully engaged work force.
    Action Plan 3.3.
    Establish a housing initiative aimed to recruit and retain qualified employees to an urban setting.
    Action Plan 3.4.
    Implement strategies to improve job satisfaction and promote longevity based on information obtained from cutting edge data gathering tools.
    Action Plan 3.5.
    Create and implement guidelines for high quality performance and realign roles and responsibilities of staff.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plan 6.7
    Action Plan 3.6.
    Introduce a performance evaluation system that supports retention of the highest quality staff.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plans 6.3 and 1.11

  4. Design, develop, and implement new buildings and technology infrastructure that are adaptable to new curriculum and instruction and evolving needs of individuals and communities.
    Action Plan 4.1.
    RPS will revise the 2007 Facility Master Plan to meet the needs of the instructional program and increase efficiency, cost containment, and community support.
    Action Plan 4.2.
    Ensure that all schools/school facilities have the resources needed to meet the needs of the students served.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plans 1.8, 1.9, 2.5, 5.1, 5.2 and 6.4
    Action Plan 4.3.
    Create a flexible, realistically updated portfolio of equipment and digital technology tools, utilizing industry standards for staffing, training and maintenance aimed at preparing students for global careers.

  5. Engage all facets of the community as partners in accomplishing our mission and objectives.
    Action Plan 5.1.
    Create continuity of needs assessment, strategies and actions from elementary to middle and high schools to support relationships and engagement of faculty, staff, parents and the community.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plans 2.5 and 4.2
    Action Plan 5.2.
    Develop/enhance communication with the community about formal and diverse learning opportunities in all schools.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plans 2.5, 4.2 and 6.1
    Action Plan 5.3.
    Establish/enhance mutual trust in building relationships with the community in all schools.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plans 1.9 and 6.5
    Action Plan 5.4.
    Establish comprehensive community partnerships in each school, involving parents, agencies, and the community at large.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plans 1.9, 2.5 and 6.5
    Action Plan 5.5.
    Increase the number and diversity of parents and families that will enhance the level of involvement and participation.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plans 1.8, 1.9, 2.5, 6.4 and 6.5
    Action Plan 5.6.
    Establish a community center (hub) in each RPS school.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plan 2.5
    Action Plan 5.7.
    Identify and implement the best practices that will ensure sustainability of quality partnerships.

  6. Align people and resources strategically to maximize impact.
    Action Plan 6.1.
    Establish an ongoing process in which effective communication becomes a priority.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plans 2.5, 4.2 and 5.2
    Action Plan 6.2.
    Develop a model and process for re-aligning Richmond Public Schools that will engage the community and staff.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plan 1.10
    Action Plan 6.3.
    A comprehensive employee training model, aligned with industry standards and best practices, maximizing employee performance will be established.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plan 1.11
    Action Plan 6.4.
    Ensure that all schools actively participate with the Partnership Office to determine the availability of community resources and align the resources appropriately.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plans 1.8, 1.9, 2.5 and 5.5
    Action Plan 6.5.
    Increase the involvement of parents as partners with the schools to foster increased student achievement.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plans 1.8, 1.9, 2.5 and 5.5
    Action Plan 6.6.
    All children will be provided with rigorous academic programs that meet or exceed local, state and national standards.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plan 1.1
    Action Plan 6.7.
    Develop and implement a comprehensive leadership plan designed to appropriately align people and resources to accomplish the mission, goals, and objectives of the district.
    Cross-Reference to Action Plan 3.5